I saw a beautiful exhibition of photos yesterday by a guy I was at college with in the 1970s – Michael Kenna. In the intervening years he’s become one of the world’s top landscape photographers. I’m amazed at the consistency of his style over all these years – simply stunning!
If you have a chance to see the exhibition it’s on for the next few weeks at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs in London, and finishes on January 2 2013.
As promised here are a few more of my photos from the ‘Thirties’ exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1979. These are of Highpoint 1, designed by architect Berthold Lubetkin and engineered by Ove Arup in 1935. One of the best examples of the International Style, the building was admired by Le Corbusier when he visited London.
For the first time Google’s Chrome browser has overtaken Firefox as being the most-used browser visiting the reeddesign.co.uk website according to the log files for August.
The actual figures are close with Chrome at 27.96% and Firefox 27.68%. Firefox has been top of the table since 2008 when it shot past Internet Explorer going from 2% behind in July to 16% ahead in August.
Interestingly (and annoyingly) IE6 is still a significant proportion of the 13.5% of people still using IE – and surprisingly it’s ahead of IE7. That’s only about 25 page hits a day, but still significant.
My personal preference is still for Firefox, which I’ve been using as my main browser since version 1 came out in late 2004. But I have all of the major browsers on my PC for testing purposes, most of them in several versions, the earlier of which I run on Windows XP virtual PCs.
Back in 1979 I had the good luck to photograph a series of buildings for the ‘Thirties’ exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. The photos were used in the exhibition in a series of slide programmes with 2m square screens and featured several landmark buildings from the 1930s. One of my favourites was St Olaf House, the head office of Hay’s Wharf, situated on the Thames between London and Tower Bridges. St Olaf House was designed by architect Harry Goodhart-Rendel, right down to the details such as the door handles, clocks and carpets. One thing he didn’t design were the bas relief sculptures on the river frontage for which he commissioned his friend Frank Dobson.
I’ve spent this afternoon scanning some of the original photos which were shot on 120 Ektachrome film on a Hasselblad.
When I get time I’ll scan some photos of the other buildings, which included Highpoint 1, the Penguin Pool at London Zoo and Dudley Zoo (Berthold Lubetkin) and some of the stations on the 30s extension to the Piccadilly line (Charles Holden).
I’ve recently purchased a Fuji FinePix F600EXR so that I have a camera that I can keep in my pocket all the time. On my list of ‘must haves’ was the ability to shoot RAW which most pocket cameras don’t have, and those that do tend to be in the £300+ price bracket. When it was first introduced in August last year its list price was about £320 (street price £280) but in January this year a new model (F770) came out and the F600 can now be got for about £160 – half the original list price. It’s probably not quite as good as some of the other cameras in its class (notably the Panasonic LX5) but it has some features that I’ve been very impressed with, notably the ability to shoot panoramas. When compared with the panoramas that I shoot with my Nikon D300 they’re obviously inferior, but considering that they’re stitched in a couple of seconds in the camera, I’m really quite impressed. This, coupled with a 15x optical zoom (24-360mm equivalent), macro focus down to 5cm and a whole string of features I’ll probably never use, has made me very happy.
Southwark Cathedral have just added a tour of three 360° panoramas that I produced to their website. The tour shows views of the nave, altar and crossing, and choir. The cathedral dates back to Norman times when it was known as St Mary Overy (over the water) although it only received cathedral status in 1905. Much of the current building dates to between 1220 and 1420 when it was rebuilt following a fire. In 1536 following the Dissolution of the Monasteries the church was rededicated to St Saviour. The tower and choir were restored in the early 1800s and the nave was totally rebuilt in 1839 in Gothic style. Further extensive building work was carried out in 2000 to provide conference and educational facilities.
About three years ago I blogged about how crazy it is that it’s cheaper to buy a new inkjet printer than it is to buy a set of new ink cartridges. Well the printer I bought then died recently just because the nozzles on the print head were blocked. Replacing this part is just a question of taking out the ink cartridges, unlocking a clip and lifting out the print head. I phoned HP to find out if I could order a replacement part, but was told that it would cost me £15 just to speak to a service technician! I did find a way of ‘speaking’ online to someone who told me that the part would cost about £60 plus delivery, so here I am again having just bought another new printer. It had to be an HP which takes the same size cartridges, as I have about £100 worth sitting in my drawer. But now it’s impossible to buy a small A4 inkjet without it having a scanner built in. I don’t need another scanner – I already have a high quality one. But there was no choice. So now I have an old printer that needs just one replacement part that will be going into the recycling bin and a new printer with a redundant scanner. Madness!
I’ve just updated the menu system on the main part of my website using Project VII’s Pop Menu Magic 2. This allows for sub-menus to open upwards from my bottom menu. They make a great range of products. I just wish that they made them in a form other than Dreamweaver Extensions.
The summer of 1973 had not been good. I’d split up with my girlfriend and had to move back home for a couple of months before I started on the photography course at the London College of Printing. I hadn’t been out of the house for weeks, but I’d heard that there was going to be a Festival of African and Caribbean Music in Kennington Park so I thought I’d go. It was fantastic and was the first time I’d smiled in a long time. I recently rediscovered the negatives of some of the photographs I took there and after a mammoth scanning session I thought I’d share. Let me know if you like them.